Why Do We Still Care About DrDisrespect?

drdisrespect ban twitch
DrDisrespect Twitch Ban DrDisrespect/YouTube

At TwitchCon in 2017, I interviewed Twitch streamer Herschel Beahm at the height of his popularity. His DrDisrespect persona, complete with a mullet wig, mustache, and gamer glasses, captured Twitch’s audiences. Beahm was known for intense multiplayer gameplay — spouting catchphrases like “Violence, Speed, Momentum” and memes about being the self-declared 1993 and 1994 Blockbuster video game champion.

In one of the few interviews he did out of character, Beahm spoke about how he doesn’t “cuss” and is “a guy that just wants to entertain.” He had only started portraying his over-the-top character for less than a year, but knew “once you step outside of the persona, the curtain’s down, there’s the wizard.”

That Beahm I spoke with seven years ago is almost indistinguishable from DrDisrespect today on YouTube. A never-ending stream of scandals, ranging from cheating on his wife to selling NFTs to streaming from a public bathroom, seemingly led him to embrace an ever-edgier ideology.

In 2023, he made fun of pronouns being put into the character creator of “Starfield,” and he defended streamer NickMercs after he wrote on X that LGBTQ+ protestors should “leave little children alone.” 

But his biggest scandal, and the one that’s stuck around the longest, was his 2020 ban on Twitch. Weeks after signing a deal allegedly worth millions of dollars a year, Twitch suddenly banned him for acting “in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service.”

In in-character interviews shortly after the ban, his publicist shared that “we don’t know why Twitch banned him.” It was once the most popular story of the day, with many speculating as to what would cause a company to drop a streamer they had just paid seven figures for.

Things fizzled away as Beahm moved to YouTube. In 2022, he tweeted, “I have resolved my legal dispute with Twitch. No party admits to any wrongdoing.” And that was the last any of us thought we’d hear of it.

That is, until earlier this week, when former Twitch employee Cody Conners tweeted, “He got banned because got caught sexting a minor in the then existing Twitch whispers product. He was trying to meet up with her at TwitchCon.”

Though Conners did not mention Beahm at all, and there is currently no substantiated evidence to support this story, many online assumed the tweet was about Beahm.

Though the rumor is still unconfirmed, some have claimed its legitimacy. An anonymous source, who was allegedly on Twitch’s trust and safety team at the time of Beahm’s ban in 2020, told The Verge that the story was legitimate. Journalist Nathan Grayson also tweeted, “This is not the first time I have heard basically this explanation. Nor is it the second, or third.” 

Beahm responded to the speculation by tweeting, “I didn’t do anything wrong, all this has been probed and settled, nothing illegal, no wrongdoing was found, and I was paid.” 

Though Twitch bans creators quite often — so much so there’s a 600,000-follower X account dedicated to chronicling these events — DrDisrespect was a titan. Beahm still has a fair share of influence on other platforms, leading some in the streaming industry to crave transparency and accountability.

The ban on DrDisrespect has become almost a mythical piece of information on Twitch. More than once over the years, strangers in the industry I’ve met ask if I know why he was banned after they learn that I write about Twitch. Like what happened to Amelia Earhart or who made Stonehenge, Beahm’s ban has reached a mythic unanswerable status. 

And now, unlike the streamer I looked up to at TwitchCon in 2017 (literally, he’s 6’ 8’), the modern DrDisrespect has seemingly let the character consume him. He’s no longer playing a bit that he’s the best, but has rather completely chugged his own branded GFuel to the point of no return.

We’ll probably never actually find out why DrDisrespect was banned from Twitch — because of NDAs and a whole slew of information that we aren’t privy to, especially if there was actually a minor involved. On his first stream back on Monday, Beahm said he wouldn’t elaborate further on the ban. But none of that is going to stop many from wondering what really happened.  

Update, 6/25/2024, 2:15 pm CST: On June 15, Bloomberg published a report claiming that multiple sources confirmed that Beahm was removed from Twitch for messaging a minor.

Hours later, Beahm finally addressed the allegations head-on, writing in an X thread that there were “Twitch whisper messages with an individual minor back in 2017.”

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